It is starting to smell like Halloween in Salem! In the past few weeks, the setting place of (the long running soap opera) Days of Our Lives has had long lost characters rise from the dead while a mad scientist runs amuck, his chemical concoctions exploding around him! One of the show’s major heroines has also just been kidnapped by a silent, shrouded figure.
One recent ghoul stained returnee has even taken a deadly shine to some of her old, mischievous tricks. Vivian Alamain (currently being played by daytime icon Robin Strasser) has always had a thing for burying folks alive…but her latest victim Kate Roberts (the incomparable Lauren Koslow) wasn’t giving up her mortal coil easily. After being shot by Vivian and covered in graveyard dirt, this resourceful anti-heroine crawled out of her makeshift resting place and dragged her nearly expired glam gal self to the local hospital. Naturally, as the writers stretch out this macabre yarn, Kate’s life still hangs in the balance…and Vivian is prowling the hospital corridors, hoping to drag her off of that precarious ledge.
Of course, this is all being done with a sense of grand, over-the-top fun. But more than anything, it’s been a twisted joy watching glamorous, dedicated pros like Strasser, who gets more assured and enjoyably cunning with every appearance, and Koslow go at it with few (if any) holds barred. The producers also, nicely, gave longtime soap lovers a special treat by recently reuniting Strasser and Kassie DePaiva, who plays town pariah Eve with distinctive panache, for a brief scene. For decades these legacy performers went at it with love (and occasional wraith) as aunt and niece, respectively, on the late lamented One Life to Live.
She made two memorable film appearances and worked with many of the jazz greats throughout her career, but there is very little information available about the exquisitely talented Perry Lee Blackwell. Sometimes credited as Perri Lee, this joyous multi-hyphenate (pianist-organist-vocalist) released at least two recordings during her career and she was the featured performer at the historic Parisian Room in Los Angeles for many years, as well.
Nicely, her love of performing is apparent in her scenes in Dead Ringer, one of Bette Davis’ latter day gothic horror projects. While that film has a huge cult following, Blackwell is still probably best known for her iconic interactions with Doris Day and Rock Hudson in the beloved romantic comedy Pillow Talk.
With her recordings available from outlets like Discogs and a number of blogs beginning to extol her virtues, it seems like the perfect time to rediscover the amazing Blackwell, who, in her 90’s now, seems to truly appreciate hearing about the latter day love she has been receiving from fans.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
High school awfulness is just something you seemingly have to live through. Any attempts to balance the scale just end up in Carrie-style mayhem. This definitely proves true for the participants in the upcoming Bad Witch, a fun film written by James Hennigan and co-directed by Victor Fink & Joshua Land.
At first, Roland Grimm (Jackson Trent) thinks Xander Perkins (Chris Koslowski) is a gift, a miracle seemingly delivered from the skies to help combat his teenage awkwardness. But as Perkins’ witchcraft laden solutions to Grimm’s problems begin to backfire, the young man soon regrets his involvement with this handsome, trouble making grifter. In fact, as death and betrayal overtake his world, Roland may soon pay the ultimate price for his association with the dark side.
Anchored around the casual, friendly energy of Koslowski and Trent, Bad Witchdabbles in gooey body horror, male sexuality and willingly explores a culture that is beginning to move away from labels as it restructures its sense of societal taboos. Here, Xander’s insistence that he is a “witch” not a “warlock” will truly make sense to a generation of film lovers who refuse to define themselves within the long accepted pronouns and gender rules. Nicely, the film also contains a very comical, truly gruesome death sequence involving one of Roland’s rivals – a moment that is almost worth the price of admission here alone.
Interestingly, while there is no homosexual tension between the film’s leads, Bad Witchdoes break boundaries by focusing on Koslowski’s taut masculinity. In a world where gorgeous, often traumatized women still serve as the focal point of horror projects, this celebration of male beauty is a novelty in itself. A natural progression from such witch based projects as I Married A Witch and Bell Book and Candle (from the ‘40s and ‘50s) and The Witches and The Craft (from the ‘90s), Bad Witch is sure to find many fans among those who like their terror delivered with a quick chant and an eager spell or two.
One of the most distinctive and skilled of the golden age performers, Barbara Stanwyck excelled in dramas (Stella Dallas, My Reputation), gritty noir classics (Double Indemnity, The File on Thelma Jordan) and comedy (Ball of Fire, Christmas in Connecticut). Several of the films that she embraced with her throaty presence in the ‘40s and ‘50s, including the tautly melodramatic Two Mrs. Carrolls and the chilling Sorry, Wrong Number, also featured significant elements of the horror canon.
Nicely, she fully embraced the genre in such latter day projects as William Castle’s The Night Walkerand ‘70s television films like A Touch of Eviland The House That Would Not Die (above).
As with many silver screen damsels with numerous credits, a percentage of her saucy, hardened characters sang. Occasionally, she was dubbed by more skilled vocalists. But with projects such as the fun and frisky Lady of Burlesque, her own whisky tones were allowed to sell the tune.
That chill is quickly sneaking into the air again. As we file for temporary separation from the summer breezes and marry ourselves to the fall season, a new wardrobe consisting of Art of Ruff designs, featuring the cutely spooky imaginings of artist Bryan Ruff, seems essential.
My favorite image, of course, is Ruff’s cutely domestic take on the Frankenstein Monster and his Bride- now celebrating their 201st anniversary, I hear – but there are plenty of other delightfully spooky options to pick from at https://www.redbubble.com/people/TheArtofRuff, as well!
So make those choices count (and no I don’t have that cute model’s number, so stop asking!!!)…and…
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
Mark Patton encountered one of cinema’s most notorious serial killers, Freddy Krueger, in ANightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge. But in the upcoming 1 Dead Dog, he will come face to face with not one – not two…but three notorious murderers! Talk about a step up – or down, depending on your tolerance for the macabre!
In the late ‘80s there wasn’t a more significant way to spend a weekend night in Chicago than dancing at Medusa’s nightclub. Spiraling into the witching hour as techno and new wave tunes throbbed seemed as close to an alternative heaven as any wayward, creative youth could get. Interestingly enough, Japanese CARCRASH, a band based in Southeast Texas, makes music that radiates with the black lashed urban mythology of those times.
Rise of the MACRO-VIXEN, inspired by the beautiful and strong heroines of the Russ Meyer films, seems particularly fit for gothic thrashing in some long lost, three storied warehouse building.